Thursday, September 04, 2008

Focus on what's important

The title of this post is a reminder to myself.

My daughter picks on her brother more each day. The more I chastise her for it, the more she does it. (Life is a bit busier with three kids and now that the baby is mobile, I guess any attention she gets--even if it is negative attention--is welcome.)

It was a wonderful treat to open my email earlier this week to find an email from N's teacher. She wanted to take the time to tell me that N had impressed her by stepping up and helping a fellow student at school. Another girl was feeling left out and the teacher asked N to move to a new desk--away from her best friend--to help this other girl feel more included. The teacher went on to tell me how my daughter did not hesitate and displayed Christian behavior.

While I want my daughter to receive a good education, the note was an affirmation that we are doing the right thing for our children in sending them to a school where Christian values are stressed just as much as math facts and spelling words.

(Here is where I have to remind myself again to focus on what is truly important. The note from my daughter's teacher was loaded with misspelled words and grammatical errors. Realizing that this person is also my daughter's English teacher makes me cringe but I am choosing to believe that she is a person that believes that spelling and grammar rules do not apply to hasty email messages.)

The note was also a reminder to me that encouraging her is probably a better way to get N to be nice rather than yelling at her when she picks on her brother. I am fully aware that much of her pestering would stop if I simply ignore it--but it's hard when my son is right there--I don't want him to think I won't stand up for him. Having said that, he keeps telling me "from now on, I will stand up for myself with N." I should give him a chance.

Whether she pesters him or plays with him, C will do anything that N says. He loves her and wants her attention--negative or otherwise. We looked at some photos last night and found one of her snuggling with C when he was a baby. He smiled, looked up at her and said, "I guess you do love me."

I tried to use that as a reminder this morning when she was picking on him. I didn't catch on to just how much she is looking for the same thing from me until after I finished yelling this morning. I still haven't folded the laundry or unloaded the dishwasher but at least I can say I've learned something today.

(Now I am going to look for a coffee pot with a timer so I can spend the rest of my mornings smiling and being nice, rather than yelling at my kids for not helping out when Mommy hasn't even had a chance to make a pot of coffee!)

1 comment:

jocelynka said...

First off, way to go N, being a good student and a nice friend to a new student is great! I'm glad the teacher took the time to let you know. As for the grammar and spelling errors, maybe she was in a hurry and figured it was "just an email". I hope she will do better with other notes to you. As for the picking on each other, we get that all the time too...I wish I had any words of wisdom. Of course, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "catch them being good" and praise them for that to counteract the negative behavior...but it's hard to do when you see the negative happening. Good luck :) By the way, I can't seem to email you. It keeps coming back undeliverable.